POLICE in Lusaka have arrested a lawyer, Mcqueen Zaza, a police officer and an engineer and charged them with extortion involving K40,000.

And Police have urged political parties participating in today’s by-elections to refrain from engaging in violence.

In a statement, police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said they had received a report on behalf of Roy Musonda, a director at Big Eye limited and has a running contract with the Ministry of Defence to supply uniforms and bullet proof vests.

“Police in Lusaka received a report of Extortion from Yvonne Shakantu aged 51 of House No. 31, Chitimukulu road, PHI Lusaka, a business lady who reported on behalf of Roy Musonda aged 39 of Plot No. 30, Birds view, Silverest, a Business consultant and Director at Big Eye Limited who has a Contract with Ministry of Defence to supply Uniforms, Bullet proof vests that he was swindled of K40, 000 by unscrupulous people,” he stated.

He explained that brief facts of the matter are that on 14th October, 2021 at about 17:00 hours, Musonda received a text message from Zaza, purporting to be a Lawyer of the President and legal adviser saying he wanted to meet him.

“Roy Musonda with his friend Webby Kasalu aged 47 a business man drove to the car wash which is a few meters from his office within Garden City Mall to meet Mr Zaza and his colleagues. One of them introduced himself as Detective Bwalya Chilufya based at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Police Station and the other as Richard Phiri, an engineer and public officer employed by Zambia Revenue Authority in Kasama,” Hamoonga stated.

Hamoonga noted that the duo were driven to Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe police station where K1 million was demanded as a condition for Musonda to keep his contract, out of which K40,000 was paid.

“The said persons drove the victim and his friends to Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Police Station where he was told that earlier in the day, they had spotted him at the Ministry of Defence and wanted to know how he got the said contract. Mr Zaza demanded that he pay him K1 million so that his contract does not get terminated as he had connections with the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Hon. Jack Jacob Mwiimbu, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Hon. Garry Nkombo and many others. Mr Roy Musonda requested for funds from his fellow business partners and raised K40, 000 which he paid Mr Zaza at the back of Garden City Car park where he was comfortable and remained with a balance of K10, 000,as he had demanded to be paid K50,000=00,” he said.

Hamoonga noted that Zaza continued demanding for the balance with his colleagues until October 15, 2021 at 20:00 hours when he was nabbed by police officers when he went to collect the said balance.

The officers are said to have managed to recover K24,000 from the three suspects which was brought to the police by their friends and it has since been seized and kept as an exhibit.

Hamoonga further stated that the trio were charged and arrested for the offence of extortion Contrary to Section 279 Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia and have since been given Police bond pending court appearance.

Hamoonga however warned members of the public to be wary of those masquerading to have connections in the new government and demanding payments.

“We would like to warn the general public to be wary of people masquerading around to be holding offices of influence in the new dawn government administration whilst demanding for payments. The Police will fairly and firmly deal with all those who will be found wanting according to the law,” Hamoonga warned.

And Hamoonga warned that no one found engaging in violent activities will be spared.

“In view of the forthcoming parliamentary, local and council chairperson by-elections slated for tomorrow Wednesday 21st October, 2021 in Petauke, Kaumbwe Constituency, Mwansabombwe, Chisamba, Masaiti, Mushidano, Pemba and Chisamba. We wish to advise all Political players to adhere to the Electoral Code of conduct. We wish to remind all political parties that they should restrain from engaging in violent activities in the name of politics as we are not going to spare anyone that would want to ignore the provisions of the law. It is the duty and responsibility of every individual to see to it that peace prevails at all times. We would like to warn all those that would want to cause confusion that we are not going to tolerate them but ensure that they are arrested and prosecuted according to the law,” said Hamoonga.

“As Zambia Police, we have the mandate of maintaining law and order in the country. We shall always ensure that all people irrespective of their political affiliation are protected and that all their activities are conducted in a peaceful environment without any intimidation from any quota. We are appealing to the electorates to go and exercise their constitutional mandate of electing their preferred candidates. The Police will be at hand to ensure that they do so without any disturbance from anyone.”